Synopses & Reviews
MORE THAN twenty years ago, acclaimed documentary filmmaker and explorer Hugh Thomson first set off into the Peruvian cloud forest, to find an Inca ruin called Llactapata which, although it had been discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1912, had been "lost" again. This was his introduction to the curious and confusing world of Inca archaeology and, as with many famous explorers before him, he found himself quickly addicted to the heady drug of discovery and the realization that what matters is not just finding a ruin--it is understanding what that ruin means. In his subsequent travels, Thomson visited many more remote lost cities along the interconnecting paths the Incas laid across the Andes, talked to archaeologists and explorers working in the area, and investigated the remains of the remarkable civilization that the Incas left behind. The result of his discoveries and research is "The White Rock, an engaging history of the Inca people and their heartland, which vividly resurrects the Inca culture and gives a true flavor of their strange and sometimes hostile world. Thomson weaves the story of his own discoveries and brushes with danger into a narrative that seamlessly relates the accounts of the famous explorers who preceded him--including Hiram Bingham, who discovered Machu Picchu. As the "Independent said, "In "The White Rock, the whole continent becomes a plot with suspense and a cast of outrageous characters. This is Bruce Chatwin with cojones."
"So entertaining and appealing is Thomson's story of his exploration of the Inca empire that readers will wish they could take off and follow in his footsteps....Thomson's wit, eye for detail and reverence for humanity set him apart from the average travel-adventure writer-he is as good a companion as a traveler could hope for." Publishers Weekly
"Having hiked treacherous Inca paths with two friends, several native guides, and heavy packs, Thomson describes the region's people; the rain forests and mountains; the ruins of the lost Inca world; the heat and butterflies and condors; and his efforts to cope with snakes, bats, and mosquitoes....this is a thoroughly and thoughtfully researched narrative of the Inca's rise and fall." George Cohen, Booklist
Includes bibliographical references (p. 295-300) and index.
About the Author
Hugh Thomson traveled extensively in Latin America before becoming a film-maker. He has since made many arts and travel documentaries for PBS and the BBC, including the Out of India series and Great Journeys: Mexico. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and lives in Bristol.
Table of Contents
A New World -- Inca Roads -- Choquequirao: Cradle of Gold -- Machu Picchu and its Bones -- To Bolivia and Collasuyo -- To Ecuador and Chinchasuyo -- Ollantaytambo -- The White Rock -- Return to Cuzco -- Adentro (Within) -- The Last City of the Incas -- Inca Genealogy -- Chronology of the Inca Empire and Spanish Conquest -- Chronology of the Exploration of the Vilcabamba.